Avie the Birdbrain Gamer # 8

These videos are a survey of the star system Naguxoisanorca (aka “Nagu”). The whole survey was quite long and I broke it up into 2 videos. As part of making these videos, I composed 7 songs. They are

Farewell to Nagu
Rosperigosa — Aquatic Interlude
Rosperigosa — Extreme Radiation
Noelgervay 1
Noelgervay 2

I am particularly pleased with “Farewell to Nagu” because this is the first time I have done any singing on my own music compositions. I wrote harmony, sang all the harmony parts, and recorded each part 5 or 6 times. Then I blended them together and used lots and lots of reverb. To me it sounds like an alien angel choir!

The Noelgervay songs were based on the music that was playing in-game while I was recording video. For the second, slower version I simply played along with the in-game music. For the first, faster version I took the same melody and chords, modified them, and picked up the tempo.



Note: the No Man’s Sky soundtrack is composed by the group 65daysofstatic. Here is an article about them


Avie the Birdbrain Gamer #7

This is a silly episode where I assembled video segments that were left over. I especially enjoy the times when the graphics phenomenon called “clipping” caused entities to pop into my ship. The first time this happened I really did let out a yelp. What a great jumpscare! After that it just made me laugh hysterically. I think it’s great that bugs in a game can have unintended entertainment value.

Avie the Birdbrain Gamer # 6

This episode is especially poignant now that No Man’s Sky had the August 2017 update. Although the game now has more depth and complexity, the universe was “re-written”. A few planets are as before, some are the same but have lost their names, and some have lost both their names and their distinctive traits. “Dawnseas” no longer has seas, and “Summerhome” is no longer the sort of place you would want to spend the summer. Worst of all, my home planet Neochadwickia has turned into a charred cinder. It’s as if the planet moved to an orbit closer to the sun.

Whenever I returned from an adventure, I would hop up onto the roof of my base and look out on the landscape near my home. I can see in my mind’s eye the sunset colors, the silvery-green grass, and the strange craggy hill that looked down into the southern valley. I have to admit, when I came back to No Man’s Sky and saw that my home planet was irrevocably changed, I cried for a few minutes. I’m very glad that I had taken lots of photos and videos.

Maybe this loss affected me so much because it’s a difficult time. My parents are in their 80s and my father especially is in precarious health. The loss of Neochadwicka is just one more reminder that nothing / no one is forever — and a reminder that I can take the time to engrave these memories on my heart and mind.

Goodbye Neochadwicka

Avie the Birdbrain Gamer # 3

I’ve been wanting to make videos for Youtube for ages! The computer I have now is fast enough to run No Man’s Sky while ALSO running the screen-capture software. (My previous computer can’t even run No Man’s Sky). The video editing software I’m using is called¬†Movavi. I have been working on these videos for several weeks and I keep learning new things about the software. Yesterday I figured out how to add a “freeze-frame” (stop the film and hold it on one picture) without making a big gap in the background music.

Here is video # 3. (I’m redo-ing videos 1 and 2. ) I still need to fix the soundtrack. The sound effects coming from the game footage are in stereo (comes through both ears of your headphones) but the music I composed is only coming through one ear. I didn’t notice this flaw when I uploaded the video¬†(because it wasn’t as obvious when using speakers). Thanks K for pointing this out!

My Favorite Game Reviewers

There are several game reviewers who are responsible for getting this 50+ year old mom into the world of gaming. One is Alex Shaw (and his team of merry friends) who create fascinating, often hilarious podcasts. I LOVE their discussions of the Mass Effect series. Thank you so much Alex, Sharon, and friends for hours of enjoyment.


Dan Floyd of Extra Credits teamed up with James Portnow to give the infamously difficult Dark Souls games a try. Dan’s series, informally known as Dan Sucks at Dark Souls, gave me the courage to try the game myself. I mean really, could I do any worse than this?

Dark Souls # 10 — Loot Runs

Thank you Dan and James for hours and hours of pain despair fun.

And finally, there’s Noah Caldwell-Gervais.

When I was in high school I had a class called “The Rise and Fall of Practically Everything”. The class met for two hours a day and combined history, art, and literature. We wrote essays and term papers and created art projects; in my case I learned calligraphy and made my own illuminated manuscript!

Imagine if the smartest guy in the Rise and Fall class spent hours writing an eloquent, well-thought-out essay, and then used the essay as narration for a video. A video about gaming. That’s what Noah’s videos are like. I feel my brain expanding every time I listen to one. (I treat Noah’s long videos like podcasts, and have them playing while I do something else.)

Thanks Noah for expanding my brain, and challenging me to be a better writer.

Here’s the most recent of Noah’s videos —